Medial and orbital frontal cortex in decision-making and flexible behavior.
Klein-Flügge MC., Bongioanni A., Rushworth MFS.
The medial frontal cortex and adjacent orbitofrontal cortex have been the focus of investigations of decision-making, behavioral flexibility, and social behavior. We review studies conducted in humans, macaques, and rodents and argue that several regions with different functional roles can be identified in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, perigenual anterior cingulate cortex, anterior medial frontal cortex, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and medial and lateral parts of the orbitofrontal cortex. There is increasing evidence that the manner in which these areas represent the value of the environment and specific choices is different from subcortical brain regions and more complex than previously thought. Although activity in some regions reflects distributions of reward and opportunities across the environment, in other cases, activity reflects the structural relationships between features of the environment that animals can use to infer what decision to take even if they have not encountered identical opportunities in the past.